Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) — Female employees of the Kabul city government are told to stay home and work is only allowed to those who cannot be replaced by men, the interim mayor of the Afghan capital said on Sunday Stated. The new Taliban ruler.
The decision to prevent most female urban workers from returning to work forces a harsh interpretation of Islam, despite the original promise that the Taliban, which overwhelmed Kabul last month, was tolerant and inclusive. Another sign of that. Earlier rules in the 1990s kept girls and women out of school, work and public life.
Recently, the new Taliban government has issued several legislation that rolls back the rights of girls and women. Junior high and high school girls said they couldn’t go back to school for the time being, so this weekend boys of the same grade resumed studying. Female college students were informed that their studies would now be conducted in a gender-separated environment and that they would have to comply with strict Islamic dress code. Under the US-backed government testified by the Taliban, most university research was done jointly.
On Friday, the Taliban closed the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, replacing it with the “Ministry for the Propagation and Discipline,” and tasked with enforcing Islamic law.
On Sunday, more than a dozen women protested outside the ministry and put up signs calling for women to participate in public life. “A society in which women are not active is a dead society,” read a sign.
“Why are they (Taliban) depriving us of our rights?” Said one of the protesters, 30-year-old Bashira Tawana. “We are here for our rights and the rights of our daughters.”
The protest lasted about 10 minutes. After a brief verbal confrontation with the man, the woman boarded the car and left as observed by two Taliban cars from nearby. Over the past few months, Taliban fighters have brutally disbanded several women’s protests.
Elsewhere in the city, the interim Mayor of Kabul, Hamdra Namony, held the first press conference since the Taliban was appointed.
Prior to the Taliban acquisition last month, he said less than one-third of nearly 3,000 city officials were women and they worked in all departments.
Mr. Namony said female employees were ordered to stay home until further decisions were made. He said there were exceptions for women who could not replace men. This includes part of the design and engineering department and staff in public toilets for women. Namony does not say how many female employees were forced to stay home.
“There are some areas that men can’t do. We need to get female staff to do their jobs. There’s no alternative,” he said.
Mr. Namony also said the new government has begun to remove security barriers in Kabul, a city that has withstood frequent bombing and shooting attacks over the years. Such barriers, built near politicians and warlords’ ministries, embassies, and private homes, have been commonplace in Kabul for years.
The mayor said civilians would be prosecuted for work to remove the barriers. He said most barriers had been removed, but city patrol reporters said barriers outside most government facilities and embassies remained.
The Taliban sought to present themselves as a guarantor of security, hoping that this would gain the support of the public, who still widely doubt their intentions. Under the previous administration, the increase in crime was a major concern for ordinary Afghans.
Perhaps the most difficult challenge facing the new Taliban rulers is the accelerating recession. Even before the Taliban took over, Afghanistan was plagued by major problems such as massive poverty, drought, and heavy reliance on foreign aid for the national budget.
As a sign of growing hopelessness, a street market has emerged in Kabul, where residents are selling their belongings. Some Afghans want to leave the country, while others are forced to offer poor belongings in the hope of making money for their next meal.
“Our people need help, need work, need immediate help, and don’t sell household items to choose here,” said one of the improvisational markets. Zahid Ismail Khan, who lives in Kabul and was watching over, said.
“People may try to find a way to live in the short term, but there is no other option to beg in the long term,” he said.
Contributed by Rahim Faiez, Associated Press writer in Istanbul.
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From the Taliban-run Kabul municipality to female workers: at home | WGN Radio 720
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